Odell Beckham Jr. leads Giants past Rams in game marred by brawls
ST. LOUIS (AP) — The New York Giants are peaking behind a rookie that no one can cover. They all have Odell Beckham Jr.’s back, too.
Beckham caught two touchdowns and rolled up 118 of his 148 yards receiving in the second half after absorbing two late hits in a 37-27 victory over the St. Louis Rams on Sunday. The Rams hadn’t allowed a TD in three straight games.
"Absolutely, they played dirty," Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul said.
"Man, they are a dirty team," linebacker Jameel McClain yelled as he entered the locker room.
Rams coach Jeff Fisher blamed the Giants.
"Very disappointing in the actions on the other side," Fisher said. "There’s no place for it in the game. It’s unfortunate it got out of hand."
Beckham set a franchise rookie record with his 10th and 11th TD catches, shattered another rookie mark for receptions and topped 1,000 yards. The second late hit by linebacker Alec Ogletree led to a brawl and three ejections, none of them to starters.
"Emotions got into the game," said Rams safety T.J. McDonald, whistled for taunting after a sideline hit on Beckham earlier in the second quarter. "We took it a little too far."
Ogletree’s hit finished with some back-and-forth with Beckham — football to the face, slap to the facemask, attempted kick — that led to fisticuffs. Wide receiver Preston Parker jumped Ogletree as he was backing away.
Before the penalties were announced, Beckham returned to the field clapping his hands. He thought Ogletree had been trying to "dunk" him.
"I love it. As a team, that’s playing for the man next to you," Beckham said.
Eli Manning was 25 for 32 for 391 yards and three touchdowns, rookie Andre Williams had 110 yards rushing on 26 carries in place of the injured Rashad Jennings, and Rueben Randle also topped the century mark with six catches for 132 yards and a score.
New York won handily despite committing 12 penalties for 141 yards — 96 of them in the first half. The Giants excelled in every other phase, scoring 10 points off two first-half turnovers while committing none and dominating in time of possession.
Shaun Hill was 24 for 32 for 290 yards with TD passes to Lance Kendricks and Chris Givens in the second half. Tre Mason had 13 carries for 76 yards and a score, and Kenny Britt had nine receptions for 103 yards.
Their defense riled up the wrong guy, too.
"That stuff after the play, we just have to give that up," tackle Michael Brockers said.
Beckham has 79 receptions, most in NFL history for a player in his first 11 career games and five more than the previous franchise rookie mark by Jeremy Shockey in 2003. He’s had at least 90 yards receiving in eight consecutive games and could tie the NFL record of nine straight by the Cowboys’ Michael Irvin in 1995 in the finale against Philadelphia.
The 11 touchdown catches broke a team record set in 1948 by Bill Swiacki.
Beckham’s 9-yard TD catch in the first quarter capitalized on a fumble by Benny Cunningham on a kickoff return and put the Giants up 10-0 along with ending the Rams’ 12-quarter streak without allowing a TD.
The Giants had a short field after rookie Orleans Darkwa forced the fumble while Cunningham attempted to spin free. Defensive end Kerry Wynn’s first career interception — on a pass in and out of the arms of Tavon Austin — set up a first-half field goal.
The Rams allowed four field goals in their last game, a 12-6 loss to the Cardinals. They shut out the previous two opponents, Washington and Oakland.
Attendance was announced as 55,851, but there were thousands of empty seats at the Edward Jones Dome, which holds 66,000. Players heard some boos at the end of the game.
"It’s pretty disappointing, but you’ve got to also understand where they’re coming from," Mason said. "We have to give them a good show."